Both psychodynamic psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy consider the “error” as an important, even if controversial, issue. The Authors argue that a mistake can be considered as an event that affects the patient in a negative way (directly or indirectly) through the impairment of the course or quality of the therapy. The Authors examine different studies that present a classification of therapeutic mistakes, and that deal with the iatrogenic factors that can derive from distortions or lacks of therapeutic technique. The need for sharing systematic and empirically based criteria with which to evaluate the specialized skills and the ability of the therapist, as well as his personality characteristics, is discussed. The paper includes a number of clinical exemplifications and is informed by the theories associated with Cognitive Evolutionary Therapy Control-Mastery Theory.
Keywords: Error; Psychotherapy; Cognitive Evolutionary Therapy; Control-Mastery Theory; Therapeutic Alliance.